I Heart Indies

Monday, April 2, 2012

Operators are Standing By

Today I'm asking all my fans, yes, both of you, to purchase an online copy of my novella, Scoring Bertram Wiggly, for the low low price of just ninety-nine cents, simply click the link labeled "link": Link

"So, Martin," you're saying, "great price, why that's less than I'd expect to pay for a half-caff half-skim lo-fat capucino at StarBucks, but what do I get for my buck aside from a penny back?  What's the durn book about, anyways?"

Glad you asked: When Bertram Wiggly leaves his job as an appliance actuary – calculating the life expectancy of major appliances so their warranties expire precisely one day before they implode – he thinks he’s found the perfect place to retire in Medville, with its town square, circled by brick-cobbled streets and quaint shops with bright red and white awnings.
But then… the town rezones itself for musicals.
At any moment an invisible orchestra is apt to strike up a melody and the otherwise sane townsfolk of Medville burst into song. And not just song, either. Dance.
Against his will, Bertram finds himself in the midst of a musical comedy in which he has been cast as the comic curmudgeon.
Can Bertram defy Sam, the mysterious orchestra leader, and thwart the destiny laid out for him?

By now you're thinking, "Way cool!  I'd pay a buck ten, maybe a buck and a quarter for a good read like that, and you're giving it away for a mere ninety-nine cents?  Nine thin times, one chunky nickel, and four red cents?  How do I get my online copy?"
It's simplicity itself, just click the link labeled "link" to get started: Link

Now maybe a few of you sly dogs out there are saying, "Yeah, it's a pretty sweet deal alright, but how do I know it's the real McCoy.  I mean, I know you're an award-winning novelist and all that - Georgia Author of the Year for 2008 and that The New York Post calls you required reading and Booklist says you're 'simply brilliant.'  But what about this thing?  I mean, I may be just a big galoot, but I won't even buy a watermelon unless they cut me a sample plug to taste.  So hows about a sample?"

Very well, here's a little taste from somewhere in the first chapter:

...The next moment I felt a tickling in my ear and tried to brush it away, only to rap my knuckles against something cool and metallic. A trombonist was sitting behind me, his slide resting against my face. Miss Terwilliger shrieked to discover a flautist in her lap. Everywhere stunned people realized they had been sharing the room with a veritable army of Sousaphonists and French Horn players. The mayor recoiled and nearly knocked over a set of chimes, sending a discordant tinkling up to the rafters.

“It’s okay, folks, it’s okay,” Jim said, calming us with a gesture. He showed no amusement at our consternation; except for cracks he makes himself, Jim never laughs at anything. “It’s just a demonstration of what they can do. Let’s let the conductor talk to us. Come on out, Sam.”
As people settled back in their seats, exchanging polite nods and handshakes with the musicians around them, the orchestra leader stepped forward from a corner. By some trick of lighting, his white uniform with its gold epaulets and shiny brass buttons had blended into the dark wood paneling behind him, so he seemed to materialize from nowhere like a white cat sauntering out of the fog.
The flabbergasted mayor stood aside, and Sam the conductor took the stage. “We’re a municipal contractor,” Sam explained. “We’ve provided many towns just like yours with – well, sort of a musical backdrop to their lives. People seem to like it. It makes life more interesting. It adds – ” Sam hesitated, at a loss for words.
“Oomph?” suggested Bernie Goldstein, the owner of the dry goods store, looking over his bifocals and raising his finger modestly in front of his white apron for attention.
“Oomph, yes, that’s it exactly,” Sam said with a smile.
Someone had to put a stop to this dangerous nonsense. “If you’re so good,” I said, standing up without waiting to be called on. “Why did you come here? Why don’t you already have a job somewhere?”
“We did,” Sam said. His face, which had worn an affable smile, became grim. The various band members shuffled uncomfortably in their crisp white uniforms and looked at their shoes. “A city. A city with a million souls but not one neighbor. Where it’s always crowded, yet you’re always alone. A city that never sleeps because it’s too busy trying to forget what it never can.” The conductor’s voice was weary with regret. He sounded like a person who associated with no-good dames. No-good dames with secrets to hide and gams. At the back of the room, a saxophone player put his instrument to his lips, and a melody oiled out that reminded me of merciless summer nights, wet asphalt, slow-turning ceiling fans, and long, poorly-lit corridors. I hadn’t realized until that moment that Sam was smoking a cigarette. He took the butt from his mouth and flicked it with his forefinger over the podium into a trashcan. “We didn’t like it there. You could say we couldn’t take it.”
“Too many shadows,” said a clarinetist under Carmello the barber’s chair.
“And rain,” said someone holding a pair of cymbals over Zeke’s head.
“And neon signs flashing through Venetian blinds,” added the trombonist behind me.
“When we heard about Medville, we knew this was the town for us,” Sam said. A moment ago I could have sworn his face wore a five-o’clock shadow, but now I saw it was shaven as smooth as a windowpane. “You should know we are fully bonded and insured, and have a facility for, well, disappearing.” Sam made a gesture of dismissal, and before we could look around, they were gone. The flautist had left Miss Terwilliger’s lap, the cymbal player in back of Zeke seemed to evaporate, the clarinetist under Carmello’s chair vanished, and when I turned, the trombonist was likewise not to be seen. Sam stepped backward – the xylophone and chimes were no longer behind him – and faded once more into the paneling. I strained my eyes to pick out his contour against the wall and could not. A band of stealthy Apaches waiting to ambush a wagon train could not have concealed themselves more neatly.

"Whoa!" you're thinking now.  "That is something I've got to read.  And only ninety-nine cents!  That's a deal too good to pass up!  Point me the way cousin, where do I go?"

No need to go anywhere, my friend, just click the link labeled, "link": link

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